Brexit update: Finally a breakthrough for EU citizens and their employers
A recent policy paper published by the government finally gives employers some of the clarity they have been seeking on EU citizens’ residence rights post-Brexit.
This has come at a crucial time for businesses where numbers of EU citizens leaving the UK are on the increase and the skill shortage is widening.
What does the policy paper say?
- EU citizens arriving to the UK after March 2019 and during the proposed transition period will have the right to permanently settle in the UK
- They will be allowed to apply for ‘temporary status’ under UK law to enable them the chance to build five years of continuous residence required for settled status
- EU citizen’s family members can also register for temporary status during the transition period to be eligible for settled status once they have accrued five years residence
- Registration will be required within three months of arrival and there will be a three month grace period at the end of the transition period for applications to prevent a ‘cliff-edge’
What does this mean for employers?
This is a key milestone in removing some of the short-term uncertainty for employers, with the key announcement being that businesses will be able to continue to employ EEA member citizens after the UK’s exit from the EU on long-term/permanent contracts.
However, whilst this is a positive short-term step, it is important that businesses continue to plan for change. Employers need to ensure they are prepared for future recruitment and attracting labour talent beyond Brexit.